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Spark sponsoring hate blogger

Written By: - Date published: 12:17 pm, June 10th, 2015 - 82 comments
Categories: blogs, boycott, business - Tags: , ,

Hey Spark – this is a terrible, terrible decision…

Update:

So Spark – better put out a statement disclaiming sponsorship then.

Update:

82 comments on “Spark sponsoring hate blogger”

  1. Bill 1

    I guess some peeps will be moving telephone companies just presently?

  2. Old Mickey 2

    Surely it must April fools day ?

  3. Marty 3

    So we’re now all TVNZ watching Vodafone customers?

    • weka 3.1

      Heh.

      Still, there is value in boycotts. Behaviours change.

    • James 3.2

      Not to mentioning using power only from power companies who were not sold off.

      And only using companies who pay their staff a living wage.

      • Sabine 3.2.1

        well,

        not watching tv
        only have one landline no mobile phone be it apple or what ever
        one computer a few years old
        not frequenting businesses wit shoddy practices aka mcdo, nike etc
        buying nz produced and manufactured where ever possible
        walking/bycicling as much as possible
        growing your own food, homekill etc

        and so on and so on
        and if enough people do that
        the businesses that don’t show ethical and environmentally friendly behavior will start feeling it in their pockets. We don’t wanna ruin the businesses we want to change their behavior 🙂

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.2.2

        James: TV3 executives really screwed the pooch with bad commercial decision making, didn’t they.

  4. Brillo 4

    They didn’t run this past their PR team first?

    Oh well, at least their colours are now nailed to a wall we can all see….

    • tc 4.1

      The PR team probably did approve it which shows the mindset that exists in Sparks upper tiers, this is the crew who bought out that no sex for the AB’s campaign and then pulled it.

      likely it’s the same here as only the backlash probably prompted some action.

  5. ianmac 5

    Ironically we are halfway through a transfer from Vodafone to Spark because they are $31 per month cheaper. But the mess ups! No phone or internet for 5 days then internet connected but no land phone line yet. And to contact Spark a nightmare though not as bad as Vodfone.
    To withdraw as protest re WO? Too hard basket.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      You didnt do anything silly like a fixed term contract ?

    • tc 5.2

      They know that just as software vendors know how hard it is to replace their products once installed, a strategy SAP has been using for decades now.

      Voda and Spark probably get together for a chuckle about it often.

    • Detrie 5.3

      Had similar issues too. And now Orcon and other telco competitors have been sold off to the Auzzies, don’t expect the options or service to improve. One is as bad as the other, in spite of the marketing hype and tricks to gain market share. These are all sales-driven companies, not technology or service companies. Similarly local web hosting companies, now largely in the hands of money-hungry offshore corporates. We’re just numbers and cash cows to the slaughter….

    • vaughan little 5.4

      You might wanna let a customer services rep know how you feel about their association with the nefarious party in question?

  6. Rodel 6

    ” so to speak?’ Spark sponsoring Slater?- too hard to believe even they would be so stupid.I suspect a little bit of stretching and lying.

    • RJL 6.1

      @Rodel “I suspect a little bit of stretching and lying.”

      Andrew Pirie (Spark’s Corporate Relations GM) did jump up pretty fucking quickly on twitter to say that “we’ve given them a couple of phones as giveaways”. So, clearly he knew something.

    • Tracey 6.2

      it was both… lying (creating the idea that Spark was a sponsor) and stretching (giving the idea that Spark was a sponsor when they had given him a couple of phones (idiots they are)

    • dukeofurl 6.3

      You are right , its all a Slater beatup.

      I bet “Whaleboil” will be laughing his head off.

      //twitter.com/whaleboil

      A lot of bloggers seem to get freebies like this, they hope they get mentioned.

      It certainly wasnt a ‘sponsorship’

    • NZSage 6.4

      Whale Oil lying or stretching the truth?

      That would never happen. 😉

  7. Tracey 7

    “Report from the Decade of Dirt Party”

    Isn’t that the important bit and what does it mean?

  8. Tracey 8

    Spark’s Andrew Pirie says in a tweet to Toby Manhire

    “Toby, it’s a couple of phones as a giveaway, no other sponsorship support”
    General Manager Corporate Relations at Spark New Zealand

    Follow-up tweets to him suggest he could give 24 phones to womens refuge instead…

    It’s the people who still take Slater’s calls or meet with him, that is what concerns me.

  9. maui 9

    The Spark logo has been removed from Slater’s blog post. Won’t be long until any mention of Spark and the phones is taken down too I reckon.

    • freedom 9.1

      wonder if this story will vanish as well?
      http://www.donotlink.com/fhh1
      Spark certainly go out of there way for Whaleoil

      A short time after I posted the article I was contacted by Chris Quin, Spark’s Chief Executive, Spark Home, Mobile and Business.

      He was in Singapore which made the approach even more impressive.

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        so those who bemoan the preoccupation with Slater need to understand that this bottom dwelling individual seems to have easy access to very powerful monied people in NZ despite everything he has done. Or because of it.

      • maui 9.1.2

        “Simultaneously I had two other people from Spark contact me via social media conduits to ask if they could help…then the people that Chris Quin had organised.

        I was quietly impressed with the response.”

        Then the day after he did his blog post he’s got someone from Spark in his house installing stuff. Not bad service… not bad indeed!

        • Hanswurst 9.1.2.1

          “Quietly impressed” is an odd description for someone bragging about something online, unless he literally means “I was quiet about it for the short period from then until now”.

      • RJL 9.1.3

        Odds are that sequence of articles was just paid-for-PR statements.

        Andrew Pirie (who immediately leapt to the defence of the Slater/Spark connection this morning) was a founding director of boagallanpirie, a NACT associated PR company. So, more than likely he is yet another NACT associated PR consultant using Slater’s blog as part of an “alternative” corporate messaging strategy.

        • Tracey 9.1.3.1

          http://www.michelleboag.co.nz/michelle-boag-blog/2012/3/8/launch-of-boagallanpirie.html

          so there is the connection, but it doesn’t matter, Right? He’s just a blogger. Rght?

          So why do the Right keep courting him and doing him favours?

          • Karen 9.1.3.1.1

            So Andrew Pirie and Michelle Boag were partners in a PR company and now Pirie is giving free phones to Whaleoil.

            Hmmm

            • Anne 9.1.3.1.1.1

              I don’t think there is any love lost between Boag and Whaleoil. Boag is most definitely not in the Collins camp. WO is!

            • Rodel 9.1.3.1.1.2

              From Boag’s PR site
              “Director Michelle Boag says that at a senior level, client demand for communications and lobbying skills is increasingly focussed on achieving specific outcomes aligned to strategic business initiatives.”

              Do people really pay for this tautological bullshit? Oh well!

        • freedom 9.1.3.2

          “Odds are that sequence of articles was just paid-for-PR statements.” *cough*bullshit*cough*

          To recap, Slater has a moan on a blogpost, gets calls from upper management who are overseas at the time and receives a whirlwind of attention which fully resolves his issues (with extras), all within 24 hours.

          RJL, you not only think Spark wanted people to know about that, you think they engineered & paid for the process as a PR exercise?

          Why would Spark pay someone to show the public of NZ that their upper management treat ‘high profile’ customers with unfair and incredibly attentive personal service whilst thousands of customers ring their call centres every week complaining about their own technical/service issues that are just as vital to their own lives as Slater’s issues are to him?

          Sure everyone knows it goes on but Spark would hardly go out of their way to advertise the fact! Spark’s customers are repeatedly forced to wait days, if not weeks, for the inevitable keystone cops scenario of failed co-ordination with Chorus technicians or other meanderings of internal and external processes, that only breed frustration and even more call centre waiting time.

          What commercial benefit is there to a large company, that relies on a diverse but limited population for its very survival, to have its cronyism exposed?

          Why would they pay to have it exposed?

          And why would they pay a controversial hate merchant like Slater for the privilege?

          Simply gifting a hundred cheap cell phones to Women’s refuge would deliver a thousand times more PR value and generate masses of free media coverage. Certainly more than any (potentially volatile) relationship with Whaleoil could hope to deliver. And without the ever present threat of blow-back which is par for the course if dealing with WhaleOil.

          • Tracey 9.1.3.2.1

            so, Slater kind of bribed Spark…

          • RJL 9.1.3.2.2

            “Simply gifting a hundred cheap cell phones to Women’s refuge would deliver a thousand times more PR value …”

            Whale Oil readers and people who care about Women’s Refuge are probably not sets with much overlap on a Venn Diagram.

            Anyway, Spark does sponsor “worthy” things too. So, what?

            “What commercial benefit is there to a large company…”

            Slater states in the same very article “Still with 285,000 plus readers there was a marketing opportunity for an astute and fast moving company.”

            Given what we know about Slater’s relationship with other organisations and the authorship of “his” posts, you would have to be desperately naïve to uncritically read anything that praises a company on his blog. Especially a company whose GM of corporate relations used to be the co-director of a PR company with Michelle Boag.

            • freedom 9.1.3.2.2.1

              bit puzzled by this: “Anyway, Spark does sponsor “worthy” things too. So, what?”
              “Worthy things” is of course a relative term. Cameron Slater is worthy of praise, friendship, (the services of taxpayer funded staff 😉 & late night mystery texts, at least according to the PM. Others simply say he is toxic, especially if you are discussing PR for a major brand. Not to mention a brand already suffering its fair share of issues.

              By your reckoning RJL, if Spark decided to donate phones to a Tobacco & Alcohol Tax Reduction lobby group, what do you reckon the response might be? Would that be one of these ‘move along’ moments you seem to be encouraging, ‘nothing to see here’ ? (btw, i’m a smoker & do enjoy a drink -albeit rarely)

              You don’t think they would maybe face a bit of flak? In my little world ‘sponsoring’ WhaleOil is a risky [boneheaded] move and Spark rightly deserve to be asked to defend their commercial decision.

              Especially after turning down recent approaches to help women in high risk situations. It is a simple enough bit of math-
              ‘ Here are some women who might be killed by a violent person the state are unable to adequately protect them from, could you give us a couple of dozen of your cheapest phones so they at least can try to call for help as their doors are kicked in by a violent ex-partner who has ignored the trespass order for the third time that month.’

              It’s not exactly rocket science is it RJL? When phones can be sold in supermarkets for $19 with a sim card – you would think they would have had fifty phones on the office doorstep the next morning!

              Surely companies of this scale can spare a couple of dozen phones and maybe safe a few lives. Would you not say such a sponsorship would be accepted as a social good? Instead, they have to defend gifting phones to Cameron Slater.

              But I guess society, like reality, like worthiness, is just a relative term these days.

            • freedom 9.1.3.2.2.2

              Btw, your Venn, that would certainly be a subtle overlapping of very few curves. The straight lines that form the grid that sets the page the diagram gets drawn on however? The people at the end of those lines make for a far more interesting investigation of Venn properties.

  10. Daniel 10

    My observation of this blog and whale oil is that the tag ‘hate blog’ is really years out of date. If one would care to actually read especially the comments section you can only conclude that the hating is more prevalent on this blog. Maybe it’s time for a reality check and realise this attitude/behaviour only serves to alliviate your own frustration and doesn’t contribute anything worthwhile to the ’cause’.

  11. tc 11

    When you consider the levels of arrogance and self importance in each entity it makes them a good match.

  12. Marvellous Bearded Git 12

    I’ve got $5k worth of Spark shares-I’m selling then in the next half hour….in fact I’ve sold them now during the time it takes to edit a post!

    • Chooky 12.1

      +100..good one…they should be more careful who they associate with and do PR with

  13. coaster 13

    Whale oil is a hate blog in my opinion, but then im just a west coast feral, what would i know.

  14. maui 14

    Twitter seems to have blown up after Spark released statements about Whaleoil involvement: https://twitter.com/SparkNZ/status/608472057664446464

    Loved the repsonse of someone who said does this mean Spark donates phones to the NZ National Front too? 🙂

  15. de Withiel 15

    Spark’s quality of service is second to none: in parts of Auckland and Northland broadband was down from 20:40 on Sunday until 07:40 Monday. No explanation, no apologies, just a couple of jokey tweets. They couldn’t give a stuff about ‘ordinary’ customers, but they’re deeply keen on looking after themselves and their ideological mates.

    • Sable 15.1

      Yep I’m Wellington based and I have constant disconnect/reconnect issues with their horrible Internet service. Its also incredibly laggy at times….

  16. Kevin 16

    Excuse me while I search for the article you wrote bagging Orcon for hiring a convicted fraudster to push their services …

    • Molly 16.1

      Oh Kevin. That is such a palpable hit…. if we were playing in the schoolyard.

      Guessing you are not a supporter of rehabilitation then?

  17. Malconz 17

    Goodbye Spark at the end of this month!

  18. Weepus beard 18

    Spark management will be full to the brim with right wing freaks. I’m surprised Slater and Farrar don’t get more from these types of people.

  19. Morrissey 19

    Anyone see Blubberguts on Maori TV the other day? He was way out of his depth; both Nathan Rarere and Mike King made their opinions of him more than obvious.

    • Weepus beard 19.1

      Was that on Brown Eye? I was present for the first episode when they had that white, skin-headed idiot who calls himself Savage (with little regard for the real Savage) arguing for a change of flag.

  20. Indeed they might bill – guilt by association can indeed play a part.

  21. RedBaronCv 21

    Or is this just a distraction from something that Spark thinks will really wind people up

    Spark can dig up your flower beds without asking

    With a proposal like this Spark contractors won’t bother asking anyone for permission to do anything ever. They will just dig where ever they want to go.
    As this stands they can dig up your section to put in UFB for someone else . They don’t have to go the long way round to access the other property or even bother looking for you. And your chances of getting any redress are likely to be zilch.
    Even where it is a shared driveway or a body corp without having to negotiate with everyone there will be access denied, slipshod putting right, people being required to contribute to body corps for UFB they don’t want etc etc..
    At the moment only about 5% are flat out refusals – and the chances are that most of them have nothing to do with one individual denying another.
    Why don’t leave the law alone and have a disputes tribunal for these 5% if they can produce sufficient evidence ( unlikely) that all these are totally unreasonable people

  22. logie97 22

    Probably off on a tangent, but we dumped Spark (Telecom) over a decade ago.
    Yet they still like to influence my communications. And it’s bloody annoying.
    I often travel into the city on a weekday morning and like to check Webcams of NZTA to see the condition of the motorway network while taking a break at the service centre at Bombay. Because I have wifi enabled on my phone, Spark immediately locks up my web browser inviting me to use their Free Wifi. This requires logging on and then they will send me a password via text. Now, as it happens, I do not wish to use their WIFI but there appears no way of getting past this page without going to settings and disabling wifi.

    • James 22.1

      If it’s an iOS device, go to Settings > Wifi and disable “Ask to Join Networks”.

      • logie97 22.1.1

        … thanks for that. It’s the fact that most “nearby” networks display and you get to cancel the request, in one operation, but with Spark, their own page hijacks the browser and there is no “Cancel” option.

  23. Sable 23

    I’ve been thinking of dumping this lousy telco for a while. I just got an added incentive….

  24. Capn Insano 24

    When I moved out one of the first things I did was choose someone other than Telescum for my internet [I went with Orcon].

  25. redeye 25

    The headline of this article, coupled with the comments following, would provide a nice little exercise for primary aged children to learn the definition of irony.

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